Boosting memory on an older Xbox 360 Console

Joe West -


The Xbox 360 250GB model came out last year, and it has to be said that is a lot of memory space for a home console.

If you are like this writer however you will have a much older version. The Xbox 360 Arcade model for example has just 512 MB of built-in space.

That’s not a lot to play with.

Microsoft does do a line of external hard drives that slot into the top of the console. If you do have the older consoles then something like that is nigh on essential.

The more space you need the higher the cost, and not everyone wants to invest so much in their gaming.

However there is a simple remedy. By taking a USB flash drive that is 1 GB or bigger, you can configure it for Xbox 360 use.

Most people have at least one spare, and their common usage has made them cheap and easy to acquire.

Firstly you need your console to have been updated after spring 2010.

If you cannot do this on the console (if it is not connected to the internet) then the system updates can be installed from your computer. (Check the Xbox website for details)

Then take your USB flash drive and plug it into your Xbox 360.

There are three USB ports you can use: two on the front and one on the back. If you use a Wi-Fi adapter then the port on the back will be in use.

The two on the front are usually used for wired controllers. Both these can cause problems but more on getting round that later.

For now just unplug the Wi-Fi adaptor or a controller, so long as you have one controller linked up for the next few steps.

Next boot up your console like you would normally. Then navigate from the ‘My Xbox’ menu to ‘System Settings’.

If you haven’t explored this menu before, you should take a look some time.

For now however you should select ‘Memory’ and the select the USB drive you plugged in. Normally this will come up as ‘USB Storage Device’.

From here you can format the memory and handily there are two options here. You can ‘Configure Now’ which will clear everything off the device and make it ready for Xbox 360 use.

If you only have a 1 GB pen then this is what you are going to want to do. For bigger devices you have the option of ‘Customise Configuration’. This allows you to apportion some memory for Xbox360 use, whilst the rest can be used as per normal.

You do this via a slider bar on screen. Take note that 512 MB is automatically reserved for system use which is why it always looks like you have less memory than the size of the device suggests.

You now have more space for game saves, demos, videos and even demos if the device is large enough.

However what do you do if you don’t have enough USB ports? As aforementioned, older Xbox 360s need Wi-Fi adapters plugged in and wired controllers use USB ports as well.

Sadly the solution will cost you, but not much.

If you plug in a USB hub into any of the USB slots you can have multiple USB devices plugged in. This works with the console without any configuration and is theoretically only limited by how big a hub you plug in.

They are not that expensive, and are a great way to capitalize on spare flash pens you might have. Wired controllers, Wi-Fi adapters and even USB keyboards can be utilised!

My console now sports several GB of extra space, and I hope this is of help to you too.

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